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Frequently asked questions about potholes

We're responsible for repairing potholes in public roads and any non-public road owned by Rochdale Borough Council. We're not responsible for repairs in private or unadopted roads not owned by Rochdale Borough Council. Maintenance of private or unadopted roads is normally the responsibility of the owners of properties with frontages on such roads.

How do I report a pothole?

Report a pothole online or call 0300 303 8879, we'll give you a reference number in case you need to contact us again about it. 

Try to give us as much information as you can when reporting a pothole as it helps us identify its location quicker. This includes the road or street name and a reference point such as outside house number, together with the relevant town. You can also help by identifying the size and depth of the pothole and its location in the road surface.

What happens after a pothole has been reported?

We'll aim to inspect the road within 3 working days and decide how quickly we need to repair the pothole, depending on the risk it poses to road users. We'll also mark the area with white paint. It's difficult to judge the severity of a pothole because they all present some risk. The factors we take into account include:

  • Size and depth of pothole
  • Traffic type, speed and volume
  • Road alignment and visibility
  • Position of the pothole in relation to the road width

On occasions it may not be necessary for us to carry out repair works at some sites.

How long does it take to repair a pothole?

The time it takes to repair a pothole varies depending on the size, depth and location. We prioritise works accordingly. We should have the pothole repair completed within 20 working days.

What if it's an emergency?

If the risk of injury to the public is very high, we'll assess the site as soon as we get the report and arrange for a repair within 24 hours.

Why have some potholes not been marked out?

Not all potholes need to be patched straight away. Potholes we don’t consider dangerous or high risk can be repaired during routine maintenance works.

How does the council keep its roads safe?

We regularly inspect our roads and footways according to national guidance.

These safety inspections are designed to identify all defects likely to cause danger or inconvenience to the user of the highway or wider community. Potholes we identify through safety inspections are repaired within a timescale based on the risk to the public, normally 20 working days.

We prioritise other areas that are showing signs of deterioration for more substantive repairs in forward work programmes.

Is the council responsible for repairing all defects in the road surface?

Utility companies such as the gas and water suppliers are allowed to use the road to install services to our homes. Sometimes things like stop tap boxes or manhole covers become broken and need to be repaired. These are the responsibility of the utility companies. We do make the utility company aware of any defect and mark them with paint as well. Utility companies may sometimes use different coloured paints to mark out their own repairs in the highway.